Curtis T. Okamoto received his PhD in physiology from the University of California, Berkeley, in the laboratory of John G. Forte, PhD. He received his postdoctoral training at the University of California, San Francisco, in the laboratory of Keith E. Mostov, MD, PhD. He is currently an associate professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Pharmaceutical Sciences at USC.
Oligomeric α-synuclein is increased in basal tears of Parkinson’s patients
2019 Aim: Secretion of proteins into basal tears of Parkinson’s disease (PD) patients may be altered by changes in nerve function. Materials & methods: Oligomeric α-SynOligo and total α-SynTotal, CCL-2, DJ-1, LF and MMP-9 were measured in basal tears from 93 PD patients and 82 age- and sex-equivalent healthy controls. Results: α-SynTotal was decreased (p = 0.0043), whereas α-SynOligo (p < 0.0001) and the ratio of α-SynOligo/α-SynTotal (p < 0.0001) were increased in basal tears from PD patients compared with healthy controls. Area under receiver-operating curves of α-SynOligo and α-SynOligo/α-SynTotal contents were 0.70 (95% confidence limits: 0.621–0.774) and 0.72 (95% confidence limits: 0.642–0.792). Conclusion: PD patient basal tears may contain biomarkers that can be assayed noninvasively and inexpensively.